The Shenyang New World EXPO in China has held five successful major events since re-opening on 10 March 2021. It is the third re-opening in just over a year. Previous governmental mandated Covid-related closures saw the venue shut in January, April and December of 2020.
The latest news shows the resilience of the exhibition industry in Shenyang, Liaoning’s provincial capital city, as well as within the northeast region of China.
The events held in the last three weeks of March included the 2021 Shenyang International Advertising Festival, the 2021 and 23rd North International Exhibition of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Comfortable Home Systems, the 2021 and 22nd China Northeast International Dental Equipment & Affiliated Facilities Exhibition Symposium on Oral Health, the 2021 and 26th China Northeast International Building & Decoration Exhibition, and the Fang Guan Jia Real Estate Agency Annual Conference. The attendance for the five events totalled 187,952, the venue reports.
EXPO’s general manager, Diane Chen said: “From the reopening in July of 2020, all events have been successfully held; organisers have fully respected the Covid-19 procedures which have been approved by Shenyang’s health related bureaus.”
Chen said attendees had been very co-operative with Covid procedures, e.g., wearing masks, body temperature checks, and distancing when queuing during entry. “Visitors have been most willing to show their personal health code before entering the venue,” she said, adding that through March 2021, no suspected Covid cases were reported. “All the attendees are traceable using organiser registration systems and health codes,” Chen noted.
The re-opening is clearly a ‘team Shenyang’ affair and the city’s health commission, commerce bureau and public security bureau were included as an important part of EXPO’s reopening team. All team members continually shared the most updated epidemic information and were available to respond to stakeholder questions regarding the status of the epidemic. Chen said the team had also relied on operational advice from UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry and the International Association of Venue Managers.
Cliff Wallace, senior executive advisor to EXPO, noted that Shenyang government bureaus were and continue to be very proactive in supporting the exhibition and conference industry and EXPO’s reopening. “I was delighted to see the Commerce and Public Security Bureaus actively supporting the reopening by granting the event licenses expeditiously and on time considering the last-minute decisions required of the organisers. A high level of co-operation by government is critical in such emergency and crisis situations.”
Looking ahead, April activity is looking promising at EXPO and includes a national Chinese Medicine Annual Conference, Northeast China Public Security Exposition, Job Fair for College Graduates and a provincial Science and Technology Service Expo.
Meanwhile, quarantine control measures remain in effect for visitors entering China from outside the mainland. Both Chen and Wallace say they remain optimistic that the continual administration of the Covid vaccines and ability to verify that visitors have received the vaccine will be the most effective short-term enhancement for the industry’s meaningful restart.